I'm so excited to have the chance to share with all of you. My name is Naama Tsach and before we start, I would like to introduce myself. I am a speech and language therapist (SLT) and an educational audiologist. I recently received my PhD from Tel-Aviv University. I came to the US from Israel three years ago due to my husband's work. We have three wonderful sons and two dogs, and we live in beautiful Maryland.
For 20 years I have dedicated my professional life to the rehabilitation of deaf and hard of hearing children and adults and research in deaf education. I have worked as an educational audiologist in special education and mainstream education settings, taught in college, and supervised SLT students, educators and rehabilitation teams. As a SLT, I worked in rehabilitation of adolescents and adult cochlear implant (CI) recipients in the Cochlear Implant Program at the Bnai-Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel.
My experience with adult CI users supports the importance of auditory rehabilitation following cochlear implantation. I was there to challenge the auditory ability of new CI recipients, to direct and support their building of new auditory skills, and to continually find ways to move forward.
I encouraged my patients to view their progress in a positive way, as a "glass half full" and to take advantage of every auditory skill they have acquired to improve their lives. CI users' awareness and understanding of auditory rehabilitation have great potential for improving their CI outcomes. Their attitudes, needs, hopes and goals serve as key variables in every step of the rehabilitation process. I truly believe in consistent, structured, professional support after cochlear implantation. This kind of individual long-term support increases the chances for CI recipients to use their device regularly and maximize their outcomes.
Much has been written for parents of implanted children but there is less available for adults with cochlear implants. This blog is for you: CI candidates and recipients who have gone through cochlear implantation as adults.
In this blog I will share with you my longstanding experience in working with dozens of teenagers and adults. Together we will use this unique platform to discuss various issues at the heart of the rehabilitation process that are reflected in everyday life.
Before we start, I want to thank my patients, courageous people who have chosen to change the course of their lives by giving themselves the chance to enjoy the world of sound to improve their communication. Their trust and willingness to include me in their private world and devote themselves to a long-term auditory rehabilitation process was not taken for granted.
I have joined these people on their fascinating personal journeys and I was exposed to the complex nature of the adaptation and rehabilitation process following cochlear implantation. I shared moments of disappointment and difficulty, as well as moments of happiness and satisfaction, and of course I have witnessed a process of significant improvement in many aspects of their lives. I learned how cochlear implantation can be a life-changing step. My patients were the best partners for my own professional journey. Thanks to them I was exposed to the wonders of technology and broadened my understanding about communication and hearing impairment. Above all, they taught me about the power of the human spirit.
Each person is unique in his own way, and has a different experience with the implant. Yet, there are many common topics and experiences that are important to share. One can definitely learn from someone else's experience and use it as a source of knowledge and encouragement to improve their adaptation and rehabilitation following cochlear implantation.
I wish you all the best and look forward to the future.
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